I have the feeling Bill Richardson pulled a clever quickie on the Democrats.
The only speaker to address the issue of warrantless wiretapping to domestically spy on American citizens during the entire Democratic National Convention was Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico.
I have found a copy of the prepared, approved text of Bill Richardson’s remarks for the DNC speech given to the press so they can engage in the nifty trick of having something wise to say about it right away, making them look extra smart. Here’s another copy of it. The Associated Press and Politico are still providing it as the transcript more than eleven hours later [as of 7:11 pm ET] as if this is what Bill Richardson actually said. It isn’t, which Politico would know if it weren’t just shoveling out the pieces of paper handed to it. Here’s yet another copy of the not-actual transcript that the DNC vetted for Bill Richardson. This time, in a classic example of fake corporate reporting on the cheap, KSBW not only provided the transcript but “reported” an excerpt from it one of their chosen “highlights” of the evening, as if Bill Richardson said it. Bill Richardson didn’t.
As you can see below, the prepared, vetted text did not refer to the regime of domestic spying begun illegally by George W. Bush and made legal (despite the Constitution) with the utterly disappointing help of Senator and Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama, who flip-flopped in June to go from an opponent of warrantless wiretapping to a proponent of it… indeed, to someone who promises to employ warrantless wiretapping as president.
The DNC remains either confused or upset after Richardson’s speech, not offering the text of Bill Richardson’s remarks while already offering the text of Al Gore’s remarks and Susan Eisenhower’s and Dick Durbin’s remarks even though they came afterwards, Bill Richardson went so far off script. Heck, even after they’d stuck up Barack Obama’s speech they still hadn’t posted Richardson’s speech. I think it’s because they didn’t have the text of the speech Bill Richardson actually gave. They seemed to be caught off guard, as if in one big collective, “Herm…” followed by a big collective “hummina hummina.”
The prepared, vetted text of Bill Richardson’s speech given to the press is on the left. The actual transcription of Bill Richardson’s spoken words is on the right:
Prepared Remarks Distributed in Advance to the Press
Fellow citizens, I am not known as a quiet man. But I hope you will allow me, for a moment, to bring quiet to this great hall. Because at a time when young men and women are dying for our country overseas, America faces a question worthy of silent reflection. And the American people are watching to see how we answer it.
What is the best measure of a person’s capacity to protect this country? There are often moments of great importance that go unnoticed in the unruly course of history. And six years ago, there was a moment of great clarity and foresight. And if the world had known to listen, perhaps today there would be less heartache and sorrow.
In October 2002, on a small stage before a small crowd, Barack Obama gave a speech that was barely noticed at the time. In the midst of great fervor, brought about by an administration that questioned the patriotism of anyone who disagreed with it, Barack Obama called the coming war what it was: “A war based not on reason, but on passion; not on principle, but on politics.” He was right.
Barack’s words were prescient and brave: “I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida.” He was right.
He said, “A successful war against Iraq would require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” He was right. Instead, Barack Obama urged President Bush, who’s never in the mood to be urged in a direction other than his own folly, to finish the fight with bin Laden and al-Qaida. He was right.
Six years ago, in this simple but forceful speech, Barack Obama did more than just challenge President Bush. He offered a detailed vision for foreign policy, including the vigorous enforcement of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, condemnation of human rights abuses even among our allies, and a commitment to reconciliation between Pakistan and India. He was right.
At the same time, there was another voice. After 9/11, John McCain turned his sights toward Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and called for a full-scale invasion. Barack Obama foresaw chaos. John McCain said we’d be welcomed as liberators and that Iraq would pay for its own rebuilding. John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.
Barack Obama was among the first to call for a timetable for responsible withdrawal. But John McCain, to this day, condemns the idea. The Iraqis are calling for a withdrawal timetable, but John McCain would keep us in Iraq for 100 years. John McCain is wrong. Barack Obama is right.
And Barack Obama saw the foolishness of embracing Pakistan’s Musharraf. John McCain thought we should support the dictator and let him take care of the Pakistani terrorists. Musharraf is now gone and the terrorists are stronger than ever. John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.
With America fighting two wars, the 9/11 terrorists still at large, Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, and Russia in Georgia, America needs a president who gets it right the first time. That president will be Barack Obama.
With a vision of foreign policy that has ranged far beyond Iraq, Barack Obama has found a kindred spirit in another leader of great strength and wisdom, Joe Biden. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must fight the terrorists not where we imagine them to be, but where we know them to be, like
We must lead a global effort to secure loose nuclear materials, not where we imagine them to be, but where we know them to be, like Iran, Pakistan and Russia.
It’s time we had a president committed to fighting poverty in the Third World and ending the genocide in Darfur, who leads international efforts to stop global warming, strengthens our friendship with Mexico and Latin America, and stands behind Israel with full-time diplomacy to achieve peace in the
And ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe it’s time to finish the job and get bin Laden.
We don’t need another four years of more of the same. It’s time for the change America needs.
This is the judgment and vision of Barack Obama. This is the preparation he has to be President of the United States. And this is the man we need to return our country into the goodwill of other nations and the grace of history.
Thank you and God bless our country.
SOURCE 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee
Remarks as Actually Delivered
Welcome to the Great American West! Bienvenidos a Colorado! When we do things in our part of the country, we do them big!
You know, John McCain says you’re all here to follow a celebrity. It’s time someone told him you’re here to elect a president! John McCain is the first candidate in history who thinks he can win by telling voters they’re not thinking for themselves. Well, John Mccain voted with George W. Bush 95% of the time. Was John McCain thinking for himself? He voted twice against the Bush tax cuts. Now he supports them. Is that thinking for himself? John McCain opposed the interests of big tobacco, then supported them. He rebuked the religious right, then embraced it. He shunned the NRA, and then asked them for their help in this election. Is that thinking for himself?
America is ready for change, but John McCain has only changed his mind on taxes, on immigration, on global warming, even on torture. Let’s be honest, America: John McCain may pay hundreds of dollars for his shoes, but we’re the ones who will pay for his flip flops!
In my lifetime of diplomacy and governing, our country has never faced as many difficulties as it faces today: a sinking economy, two wars, an energy crisis, and a presidency that has only grown more arrogant as history closes with its verdict of failure. America faces a simple choice: do we want more of the same, or is it time to change America when America needs Barack Obama?
John McCain believes we need more tax breaks for oil companies. Barack Obama says it’s time for that to end. We can finally, finally be free of foreign oil and stop global warming with more renewable energy, solar wind, more domestic energy, hybrid cars, investments in energy assistance. That’s the change America needs!
John McCain would keep us in Iraq for a hundred years. Barack Obama says it’s time for that to end. It’s time to bring our troops home from Iraq responsibly! It’s time to force the Iraqi politicians to use their $80 billion in oil money to rebuild their economy and instead of spending $10 billion a month in Iraq, invest here at home in jobs, schools, health care and take care of our veterans!
That’s the change America needs!
John McCain called our recession “psychological.” His economic advisers say American familes are whiners. But when the oil companies whine, John McCain says they need more tax breaks. Barack Obama says it’s time for that to end.
No more, no more economic policies that send jobs overseas, that cripple our industries, that depress real wages and sacrifice our workers. It’s time to put American workers and rebuild the middle class with a president who supports unions and the rights of workers to organize! That’s the change America needs!
I have a question for you: is anybody here going to miss Dick Cheney? Joe Biden is truly going to be an incredible Vice President of the United States. Barack Obama and Joe Biden we must fight the terrorists, not where we imagine them to be but where we know them to be: in Afghanistan and Pakistan! We must lead a global effort to secure loose nuclear materials, not where we imagine them to be but where we know them to be, like in Russia.
And finally, we need a president who his first day in office will say this: I will follow and uphold and respect the Constitution of the United States. And then actually does it! A president who respects civil liberties! Stops spying on Americans! And protects a woman’s right to choose! A president who respects the Bill of Rights! Who shuts down Guantanamo and stops torture. And stops torture. We must do all of this, not because these are American ideals, but because we know they are… [spoken Spanish I didn't catch]
My fellow citizens, John McCain served his country in war. We honor his service, but that doesn’t mean we have to make him President. At a time when America needs change and not more of the same, America needs Barack Obama. I have a question for America and my fellow delegates: are you ready to take our country back? Are we going to win this election for America’s future? Let’s do it!
Thank you, Bill Richardson, for putting remarks about warrantless wiretapping back in there. Shame on the Democratic Party vetters who handed him a speech in which those words were absent.